I have been told countless stories by my grandma, but the one I prefer to them all is the ‘power of determination’. According to my grandma, there lived a girl called Opoku Afriyie Owen Wilhelmina. The mother died immediately when she was born so her grandma took care of her from day one. The father married another woman and moved away with the wife to the city, and they stayed there for ages. Mina stayed with her grandma, the grandma taught her how to do domestic chores, pray to God, be obedient and most importantly never give up in life no matter the situation or how hard life proves to be. She was enrolled in public school since her grandma was poor and could hardly provide her needs. She had to engage in certain menial jobs to put food on the table. 

When she got to high school, her father decided to take care of her. She went to stay with her father who was living with his beautiful wife. Mina’s stepmother was cruel, she treated Mina as a nobody, but she remained calm and humble. She remembered her grandma’s words, don’t give up, no matter the situation and you will succeed in life. She was given the beating of her life without any wrongdoing. The stepmother gave her heavy duties every day, but she always says in her mind that hard work does not break bones.

Aside, the pains she went through, she always finds a way to learn.  She was academically second to none. She was liked by most of her teachers in the school due to her high IQ, humbleness and been respectful. Her brilliance made her step-mum hates her the most and increase the amount of insults and beatings every day. You will ask, where is her father? Her father, Mr. Owen has always been busy with work since he wanted to get a promotion in his work as a pupil teacher.

Mina had a favorite adage which goes as, there is nothing impossible with a determined mind. Mina became more focused and determined to reach the apex of the academic ladder. The teachers motivated her and provided most of her physical needs. The teachers then decided to allow her to write a scholarship exam. The scholarship exam was an annual exam written by brilliant students who wanted to study abroad. Mina had the I can do spirit and was armed to the teeth to represent her school and write the scholarship exam.

She passed the exams with distinctions and a scholarship to study at PEARSON COLLEGE, Canada. The news of Mina passing the scholarship exam travelled very fast since she was the only one who passed the scholarship exam, and this news was heard by all and sundry including her grandma. Words cannot explain how happy her grandma was. The father, for once in his life congratulated her daughter for making him proud and gives her a diamond watch as a gift. The cruel step-mum was ashamed of herself and didn’t know where to hide her face.

The headmaster of her school together with the Chief of the town organized a great durbar for Mina. On the day of the durbar, the cruel stepmother asked Mina for forgiveness, Mina forgave her whole-heartedly and gave her a big hug. Mina was given the opportunity to speak, she gave her speech, emphasizing on the need for one not to give up, cause, life is not a bed of roses. She advised that, one need to believe and trust in oneself because life is full of ups and down. Today you are down, but don’t worry, the next place is up. She concluded by saying that life can drift one into many comfortable situations, but one has to be strong and overcome all because success is not achieved on a silver platter.

It pays to work hard. Determination helps one to achieve his or her aims in life.

Mina Owen Opoku

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